More Passengers Expected to be Traveling for Holiday Season

TSA agents are working without pay during the government shutdown

FARGO, N.D. — Lots of people are flying to different holiday destinations this weekend.

With more passengers traveling close to Christmas, planning ahead will make your trip go smoother.

“The holidays tend to have travelers that maybe don’t travel as much as the business travelers and so forth. It is how they pack at the checkpoint. I can’t stress enough to pack accordingly,” Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of Hector International Airport, said.

Airport officials say to pack everything that needs to be taken out during security at the top of your bag. Make sure medications are in your carry on. If you’re bringing Christmas presents, those need to be unwrapped.

“Wrap those when you get to the destination, because the TSA will more than likely have you unwrap those Christmas presents, and we observed that a little yesterday,” Dobberstein said.

Despite the government shutdown, TSA agents are working, though without pay.

“TSA employees will be here along with supervisors and management so there won’t be any impact because of a government shutdown,” Dobberstein said.

“I didn’t realize until I got to the airport that the government had a shutdown. TSA reminded us they were working for free which we always felt terrible for but it didn’t really hinder anything,” passenger Leia Bohl said.

Staff at Hector International Airport are expected to see about 1,500 passengers a day, which is higher than last year.

“Our traffic is up. We have a few more seats this year compared to last year. Our boardings for 2018 are tracking about 8 percent ahead of our 2017 pace,” Dobberstein said.

Passengers flying in from Minneapolis and Denver say they’ve had smooth flights with no delays or frustrations.

“The pilots even had a sense of humor, it was good,” Bohl said.

“Pack ahead, check the airport websites, and you’ll find a lot of information on how to make your travel a little bit less stressful,” Dobberstein said.

Keep those tips in mind, so you can get to your destination as hassle-free as possible and enjoy what the holidays are all about.

If you are expecting to hop on a flight or pick someone up from Hector International Airport, flight statuses can be found here.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News